It is also possible to write absolute impenetrable crap, but that is true in any language.
This is every bit as true today as it was back in '82 when Ed Post wrote the seminal Real Programmers Don't Use Pascal. This treatise includes the oft-since-quoted maxim, "the determined Real Programmer can write Fortran programs in any language."
To the OP I say: Look around the code posted on this very site. You'll see Perl written by folks which looks suspiciously like C, awk, Fortran, BASIC, a whole slew of OO languages, Lua, Erlang, and some that's close to line noise. Try looking under ACME:: someday to see just what monstrous things can be done by the determined Perl Programmer.
However, we also see examples of supremely elegant code which I have to say is very rarely echoed in other languages with which I am familiar. In the right hands Perl can be succinct, clear and powerful.